10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

Beat those feelings of fatigue

Many runners cite low energy as one of the main reasons why they don't run as frequently as they'd like. Try out some of these suggestions to boost your energy.

Eat lean protein.

Chicken breast dinner
Alexandra Grablewski

Try to include a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, or low-fat dairy at every meal. High-protein foods will help keep you from getting hungry and getting low on energy between meals.

More: How to Avoid Feeling Hungry

Get enough iron.

Iron-deficiency anemia is fairly common, particularly in female athletes who have heavy periods. Anemia causes fatigue and reduced performance. If you frequently feel tired without an explanation, get your iron levels checked with a blood test. To help prevent anemia, make sure your diet includes red meat, or iron-rich alternatives (dark-meat chicken or turkey, salmon, tuna) and an iron-fortified cereal. It's also important to include vitamin C in your diet because it helps with iron absorption. So try to include vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, tomatoes, berries, and broccoli, at every meal.
More: Common Sports Nutrition Mistakes

Choose whole grains.

Pick whole grains whenever possible. They contain more fiber, take longer to digest, and they'll supply you with more energy than simple carbs.

More: How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

Skip the caffeine.

Avoid caffeine, or try to limit yourself to one cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage a day. Consuming too much caffeine can actually make you feel weak or jittery. You should especially be careful about having caffeine in the evening, as it can make you have trouble falling asleep or disrupt your sleep during the night.

Exercise regularly.

Ironically, regular exercise can improve your energy level so you are more motivated to run. Running, walking, and other forms of cardiovascular exercise help release potent feel-good hormones like endorphins, which help boost energy even hours later. Even a 30-minute run can provide energy-boosting benefits.

More: How to Stick to Your Running Habit

Get adequate sleep.

A good night's sleep is your body’s most natural and efficient way of refreshing itself. While everyone's sleep needs differ, 7 to 8 hours a night is a good goal, and will help you feel more rested and energized throughout the day.

More: Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Try something new.

Getting into a rut can zap your energy levels. Change things up by trying new foods, exercises, and seeking out new experiences to prevent boredom and keep you more alert and awake.

More: Get Out of Your Running Rut

Don't stay sitting.

If you're sitting at a desk all day, you're bound to feel bored and sluggish, especially toward the end of the day. To stay alert, try moving around every hour, even if it's just a trip to get a glass of water or look out the window.

Try aromatherapy.

Some smells like peppermint, citrus, or ginger have an energizing effect and help you feel more energized. Try lighting a candle or spraying a perfume infused with these scents to help you feel more alert.

Reduce stress.

Anxiety and stress can be huge energy killers. To combat stress, make an effort to fit relaxing activities, such as reading or listening to music, into your day.